Chamber President & CEO Named to Super Bowl Host Committee


Steve Van Dorn (right), President & CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau and former Santa Clara Mayor Gary Gillmor.

Steve Van Dorn, President & CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau, has been named to serve on the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. Van Dorn’s name was submitted to Host Committee CEO Keith Bruce by Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews. “His contributions to the quality of life in the City of Santa Clara through the years and his unwavering support of the new Levi’s Stadium warrant recognition and praise,” said Matthews. Also named to the Host Committee is former Santa Clara Mayor, multi-term council representative, and business development leader Gary Gillmor.

Van Dorn and Gillmor join other committee members from the business, hospitality, public and sports sectors who will assist in hosting Super Bowl related events throughout the Bay Area.

To date, the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee has raised more than $30 million in commitments from partners including Apple, Boston Consulting Group, Gap, Google, Intel, Seagate, ValueAct Capital, and Yahoo. Twenty-five percent of the funds raised will go back to local youth and environmental charities.

Van Dorn, with the Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau for over 17 years, was hired as President & CEO in 2002. He is responsible for managing the Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Santa Clara Convention Center.

Super Bowl 50 is scheduled for February, 2016 and is expected to have a significant economic impact on the entire Northern California region.


Developer Showcase Will Be Highlight Of Outlook Santa Clara On January 23, 2014


Development Projects include the NVIDIA Campus Redevelopment (top); Santa Clara Town Centre (bottom left); and Marriott Towneplace Suites (bottom right).

The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Santa Clara is holding an “Outlook Santa Clara Developer Showcase” on January 23, 2014 from 5pm-6:30pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  The event will begin with refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres, concluding with the program from 5:30-6:30pm.  The focus will be a “Developer Showcase” on Santa Clara projects.  The Chamber has extended invitations to SummerHill Apartments, Irvine Company, Sobrato, Menlo Properties and others to participate in an open forum discussion.  Steve Van Dorn, President and CEO of the Chamber will moderate an open discussion with developers that are building large projects in Santa Clara.  Chamber members are encouraged to attend as well as the general public.  Details can be found on the Chamber’s website or by calling 408-244-8244.

Santa Clara State Representatives Vote Record Revealed

The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce is working hard to advocate for our members and the business community as a whole.  We take positions on bills and other issues that impact the business community locally and regionally.

This is facilitated by letter writing campaigns, personal phone calls and meetings with our elected officials.  A few years ago, we took this effort to a new level and formed the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee.  This Committee raises funds to support business-minded candidates.  We are gearing up for the 2014 election cycle and hope we can count on your support for our future events to raise funds.

We thought you’d appreciate seeing how our state representatives voted on the priority business related bills the California Chamber of Commerce followed for the first year of the 2013-2014 legislative session.

State Senator Ellen Corbett voted to oppose 10 out of the 14 priority business issues and Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski voted to oppose 9 out of the 14 priority business issues that were deemed most important by the California Chamber of Commerce.

The California Chamber of Commerce recognizes that there are many bills supported or opposed by business that are not included in this vote record analysis.  However, you can see from this small sample that we still have much work to do in educating our elected officials on important business issues.

I hope you will join us in our effort in advocating for the business community by becoming more engaged in your Chamber and our Political Action Committee.  Please reach out to me at if you are interested in learning more.

I look forward to seeing you at our Holiday mixer on December 10 at the beautiful Santa Clara Convention Center.


Steve Van Dorn

President and CEO

Free Santa Clara Citywide Wi-Fi Usage Exceeds Expectations


The number of Wi-Fi users for the City of Santa Clara’s free outdoor Internet access is exceeding projections, with over 6,000 active users now logging in at peak periods of the week. Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the city’s municipal electric utility, introduced the Wi-Fi service in March.

“The system is getting over a thousand more users per day than we expected during peak periods,” said John Roukema, director of SVP. “Even on weekends, we’re seeing around 5,000 logins a day. Santa Clara’s residents, workers and visitors have embraced the service, which is made possible by our upgrade to smart grid technology.”

Santa Clara is the first city in the country to provide such free citywide Internet access via its advanced metering initiative. SVP piggybacked a separate free public Wi-Fi channel on the SVP MeterConnect® wireless network that will eventually also carry highly encrypted utility data to the city when advanced meters are installed in 2014.

The free, public, and unencrypted outdoor Internet service works best when unobstructed by trees or buildings, and the low power signal of some devices can limit their Wi-Fi connectivity. The system features speeds up to 2 Mbps, and is sufficient for normal connectivity that does not entail large amounts of data transfer, such as video and gaming.

SVP says there is plenty of wireless network capacity for the growing number of users, who connect by choosing “SVPMeterConnectWiFi” on their devices when looking for Wi-Fi access.


Hotels Reach Yearly Highs in Occupancy & Average Daily Rate in October

The eight Santa Clara hotels surrounding the Santa Clara Convention Center, California’s Great America, and Levi’s Stadium set record highs in occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) last month. The hotels averaged a yearly high of 87% occupancy in October, 2013, up 4% over previous year (October, 2012: 83%).

Revenue also set a yearly high water mark with an ADR of $177 in October, 2013 vs. previous year (October, 2012: $158). Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau President and CEO Steve Van Dorn says “travel to Santa Clara continues to increase over last year due to the improved economy and more events held at our convention center.”

The averages compiled by the Santa Clara Convention and Visitors Bureau include the Avatar Hotel, Biltmore Hotel & Suites, Embassy Suites, Hilton Santa Clara, HYATT house, Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Marriott Santa Clara, and the Plaza Suites.

Member of the Month: PACE


PACE was founded in 1989 by a group of concerned parents and educators as a private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization to meet the critical need of  providing education and care for children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Starting with 14 students in 1989 and one group home in 1992, PACE currently serves up to 60 students in our K-12 school, houses 36 children and adults in our residential program, and provides children’s services for nearly 80 families.  

The PACE School is a non-profit, non-public school, certified by the California Department of Education and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. PACE School serves students ages 6-22 who live with moderate to severe autism, with a specific emphasis on non-verbal students and those with especially challenging behaviors and communication disorders.

In January 2008, the PACE School relocated to its own privately owned facility in Santa Clara designed around the special needs of the autism population. Creating the building from the ground up allowed PACE to include special design elements such as natural lighting, precision climate control, hypoallergenic materials and flexible therapy spaces – a natural environment that supports the unique sensory needs of PACE clients.  In the summer of 2011, PACE merged with FACES (Foundation for Autistic Childhood Education and Support), an intensive behavioral early intervention program in Redwood City which allowed expansion of PACE Children’s Services to include a full range of innovative methodologies.  PACE Connections, an affect-based early intervention program in West San Jose offers home-based and center-based therapy, parent training, and Sunny Days Preschool.